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It’s Time For Flexible Legal Resources

March 16, 2023

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Over the last couple of months, there has been a steady drumbeat of companies announcing reductions in their workforce as they recalibrate to the post-pandemic economy. To date, the most numerous of these have been in the technology sector, but that is expanding to financial services (focused on mortgage businesses), and others are wondering if they are next. We are not aware of large-scale reductions to law departments (although, of course, at an individual level, any layoff is significant), but the ongoing uncertainty in the broader economy will be impactful, whether in terms of layoffs, headcount freezes or overall and sustained budget tightening.

Rather than simply asking your team to ‘do more’, speak to your flexible resourcing provider (like Elevate!), who will be able to customise a range of resourcing solutions to help you cost-effectively navigate this period.   Review the different options available to you here for retaining, where possible, a legal department’s most valuable asset – its people and their collective knowledge.

  • Forced to reduce permanent headcount but need to retain Talent: Ask whether there is the option to “rebadge” your existing key staff members onto the provider’s payroll. Often the cost of contractors (which they would then typically be classified as) is budgeted differently than permanent staff. Depending on your benefit costs and the other costs (e.g. office overhead) which may be allocated to your permanent team, you may see a cost reduction.
  • Found exceptional Talent, but the open headcount slot was just taken away, or has the start date been pushed back significantly? Your provider should be able to employ the Talent and second them back to you; once the headcount slot opens back up, they can be transferred, and there shouldn’t be a temp-to-perm fee.
  • Projects still need to be done, but the budget is reduced: There is a vibrant market for exceptionally talented, flexible, and portfolio career professionals in lower-cost locations who will get the job done. Many companies with strict in-office policies have exceptions for contract or temporary staff. This can also be a cost-effective option to using outside counsel, rather than just one person, ask about your provider helping to assemble a team of senior and junior people.

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